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Is Idris Jala a liability for Najib?

The Malaysian Insider
SEPT 30 — Perhaps we should not mention that Datuk Seri Idris Jala’s children study at Garden International School, where the language of instruction is English. 

Perhaps we should not mention that Jala’s Economic Transformation Plan (ETP) unveiled with great fanfare includes the construction of 1 Malaysia malls in China and Vietnam. It is not clear how these malls would transform Malaysia.

Oh, and let’s not forget the idea emanating from his ETP laboratories to have pasar malam vendors ply their trade in trucks.

Yes, you heard right. We believe his ETP labs suggested the use of five-ton, three-ton and one-ton trucks.
Also, if anyone bothers to have a look at the slideshow presentation available on the Pemandu website you will find one which says that Malaysia needs to increase revenue and cut costs.
You think?

But perhaps we should not mention these examples of how Jala has (or maybe he always was) become a major liability for the Najib administration.

All over town, his ETP is being derided as nothing more than a great construction project. It brings nothing fresh to the problem of dealing with the economic transformation. It is just a list of half-baked ideas which the government hopes the private sector will pay for. Perhaps like 20 years ago, it only deals with the hardware of the nation, not the software. Nothing about raising education standards, nothing about real skills. Nothing.
Perhaps that is why Idris Jala was brought into Cabinet from Malaysia Airlines to do.

Or could it be perhaps that Jala’s brilliant strategy of cutting costs in Malaysia Airlines had run its course.
As a Cabinet minister, he also plays a key role in talks with Christian churches over the Allah row. It was reported yesterday that he has been trying to convince Christians to use the word “Yahweh” instead of “Allah” in Malay, but he is facing stiff resistance from within his own church.

The move has caused a rift within the Christian community — in particular Jala’s own Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) church — with the English-speaking, urban and middle-class members on one side and the poorer, rural churchgoers, who mainly use Bahasa Malaysia in their worship, on the other.

Perhaps it should not be mentioned that many of Jala’s fellow church members in Sarawak are probably more well-versed in Bahasa Malaysia and have been using the word “Allah.” On the issue of language, perhaps it should not be mentioned that Jala speaks English quite well. 

And perhaps this article should not have been written in English, a language irrelevant to Malaysia’s aspirations to become a high-income economy. That is, of course, if we subscribe to the world view according to Idris Jala where keeping the faith will transform Malaysia.

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